Home | News    Thursday 13 February 2014

SPLM seven to join Addis Ababa talks: IGAD


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

February 12, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) - The seven South Sudanese political leaders recently released from detention in Juba accused of being involved in an alleged coup attempt in December and flown to Kenya at the end of January will arrive in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, late on Wednesday, according to mediators.

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Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta with the seven former SPLM detainees and Rebecca Garang in Nairobi on 12 February 2014 (Photo: Office of the Kenyan President)

"The released political leaders, who had been expected to attend the official launch yesterday, are now on their way from Nairobi and expected to arrive in Addis Ababa tonight accompanied by the Ethiopian Ambassador to Kenya" IGAD, the East African bloc brokering South Sudanese peace talks said in a statement released on Wednesday.

Seven out of the 11 former senior officials from South Sudan’s ruling party - the SPLM - detained in connection with an alleged coup attempt were freed on January 29 after a ceasefire agreement was signed in Addis Ababa on 23 January between the South Sudanese government and rebels who have named themselves the SPLM/A In Opposition.

However Juba has refused to release four of the senior SPLM figures, including Pagan Amum, the party’s former secretary general who has been sacked by South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir.

The four detainees along with former vice-president and current rebel leader, Riek Machar, are facing charges of treason. All the accused deny the government’s allegations that attempted to overthrow the Kiir on December 15.

Kenya’s government on Sunday refused to allow the seven leaders permission to travel to Ethiopia to take part at the second round of negotiations, arguing their bail terms meant they were not allowed to leave Kenyan territory.

After Nairobi decision, rebel negotiators in Addis Ababa threatened to boycott the fresh round of talks.

On Wednesday Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta met with the seven former detainees, who have been joined by Rebecca Garang the widow of the late the SPLM’s former leader John Garang and his son Grang Demebiar.

Garang was not arrested but she was part of the group who described President Kiir as "increasingly dictatorial" at a press conference in earlier December.

Kenyatta said he was sending Kenya MP Dalmas Otieno, a former Cabinet Minister, "as an envoy to help them during the process".


It is not yet clear whether the seven political figures will ally themselves with rebels or emerge as a separate party. Rebel officials in Addis Ababa have declined to comment on the issue when they are asked by Sudan Tribune.

Also, Machar spokesperson, James Dak, said their main concern was to ensure their release and freedom to travel to Addis Ababa and join the political dialogue. "Whether they will join us, or join the other party, or stay neutral is their right to decide as a group or individual leaders," he further said.

However, IGAD chief negotiator, Seyoum Mesfin, said the former detainees are seeking to form a "third block" rather than taking side.

"They rather would like us to prepare a sort of a triangular table for their negotiations," Seyoum told reporters.

Speaking to Sudan Tribune, Haile Girma, a political analyst, however said he doubts the seven leaders due to join talks tomorrow would "deny’’ Machar’s delegation which secured their release.

Ahead of the arrival of the seven SPLM leaders, IGAD mediators today were separately consulting with delegations of the two warring parties and other stakeholders.

"In addition, the envoys also received a preliminary report from the advance team of the IGAD Joint Technical Committee that has been conducting the pre-deployment assessment for the monitoring and verification mechanism" said IGAD.

"Some members of the team continue with the assessment mission, especially in the opposition-held areas" it added.

A week ago, IGAD deployed a team of ceasefire monitors from Ethiopia Kenya and Sudan as well as from the two South Sudanese factions to evaluate the implementation of the truce.


Despite a ceasefire agreement signed between the South Sudan government and rebels led by Riek Machar, the peace pact has not stopped the fighting on ground.

The conflict in South Sudan, which erupted nearly two months ago has claimed the lives of an estimated 10,000 people and displaced nearly a million people, causing a huge humanitarian crises.

The conflict has made it extremely difficult to deliver emergency aid supplies.

The UN said on Wednesday that the humanitarian crises in South Sudan is a ’level three emergency’, the highest level under the UN’s categorisation, putting the East African nation on the same level to that of the humanitarian crises in Syria.

Both warring sides have failed to implement the cease fire agreement and have repeatedly traded accusations that the other has violated the ceasefire deal.

Uganda’s military presence, which has also been a setback to the implementation of the ceasefire deal, with rebels repeatedly calling for their withdrawal. The presence of the Ugandan People’s Defence Force have proved controversial as Uganda is a member of IGAD, the body mediating the talks.

Ethiopia is the first IGAD member to call for the UPDF to leave South Sudan, with prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, on Tuesday saying his country is against the presence of any foreign forces in South Sudan.


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 13 February 2014 07:55, by Bentiu son

    Welcome bravos-senior prominent members of ruling Party SPLM to participate in peaceful political dialogue of South Sudan.It is your choices which side to join whether genocidal regime team leads by Nhial Deng Nhial or pro-democratic freedom fighters team leads by Gen Taban Deng Gai.I hereby giving more thanks to Dr Machar n Mama Nyadeng for their firm stance to rescued the lives of their colleagu

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    • 13 February 2014 08:02, by Bentiu son

      es whom some remain under the custody of brutal regime of Salva Kiir n his stooges team.Moreover,I appreciated the positive roles played by our big prof Dr Aduok Nyaba concerning about the root causes of this confused tribal/politico crisis which damaged lives, properties n facilities across the country.We entire South Sudanese people also giving more thanks to IGAD Members with exception of Ugand

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      • 13 February 2014 08:19, by Mi diit

        I hope the 7 released leaders will not become coward opportunist so-called third party or third block and talk nonsense. Do they think they will be given the interim administration in South Sudan? No, no, no, we are in armed struggle and either Kiir or Machar will win and take it all. Let them not waste their time as third block. They should join Dr. Machar and fight by all means.

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        • 13 February 2014 08:21, by Mi diit

          They should not deceive themselves going on witch hunt demonizing both Kiir and Machar, and portraying themselves as the good guys. Good guys since when? IGAD should not introduce such failure to talks. The third block will fail the talks. Kiir and Machar will abandon the talks and fight. Where will this group be with the talks??????

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          • 13 February 2014 14:51, by wacjak

            Midit, I can see the heat you are in now. Why beg them to join a traitor? They are not needed on the govt side too. I agree with you that a third block will surely lead this nation nowhere. They are bunch of traitors and should not have been freed in the first place. However, their testimony today of who started what is highly needed by the world and South Sudanese at large.

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        • 13 February 2014 12:52, by Ahmed Chol

          This bothers me! Why is Mabior Garang wearing a bow tie? Does he know what it is for and when appropriate to wear it? He is a confused child who didn’t even learn a single thing from his father. Has he ever seen his father wearing a bow tie in such meetings. Doesn’t he know that what he wears says much about him to those who don’t know him? Stupid kid indeed....

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        • 13 February 2014 16:41, by Never

          What I know so far at last those 7 politician will go to escape their self liker Dr Dhieu. They could not accept to joint the violence to their nation as the Riak did.
          The were not clear up to now, is it they were victim for the coup attemp at 15 December or the plane.

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    • 13 February 2014 08:31, by Tong dut

      No, they have no right to join the IGAD, Crimanals, we are going to clear them soon.

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    • 13 February 2014 08:33, by Johndumo14

      The USA demanded the withdrawal of Ugandn troops from S.sudan!!
      Why can`t USA demanded the withdrawal of France troops from CAR(central African Republic)???
      What is the differrence betweent Uganda troops and France troops? Are Ugandan troops have no interests in South Sudan.
      Only the colonial troops have interests in CAR(central African Republic)???

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    • 13 February 2014 08:37, by Johndumo14

      The france troops must witdraw from African soil,mean while UGANDAN TROOPS HAS GOT THE RIGHT GO ANY WHERE IN AFRICAN CONTINENT!!

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    • 13 February 2014 08:39, by Johndumo14

      The france troops must witdraw from African soil,mean while UGANDAN TROOPS HAS GOT THE RIGHT GO ANY WHERE IN AFRICAN CONTINENT!!

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      • 13 February 2014 08:59, by Joseph Canada

        hello brother, point of correction here. the French army in CAR and part of the international hunt for terrorists and that case in an International case involving the legitimate coup. Ugandan troops in South Sudan on the other hand came to fight along side Dinka led Corruption and thieves against Nuer in the retaliation to the 1991 Bor saga. Uganda have done this in DRC, Rwanda &Brundi

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    • 13 February 2014 08:52, by Johndumo14

      Washington must tell france to withdraw from African`s land.
      Not Uganda troops!!
      These countries have many things in common,Uganda and s.sudan
      In their border almost tribes from both countries speaks same dilects,infact is one country ,is only the thieves (British and france) who divided them in colonial times.

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    • 13 February 2014 08:53, by Johndumo14

      Washington must tell france to withdraw from African`s land.
      Not Uganda troops!!
      These countries have many things in common,Uganda and s.sudan
      In their border almost tribes from both countries speaks same dilects,infact is one country ,is only the thieves (British and france) who divided them in colonial times.

      repondre message

  • 13 February 2014 07:56, by Big Boy

    Dear Food-Lover
    Eventhough they go to attend the talks in Ethp.they ’ll be neutral to themselves not joint those rebelions.

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  • 13 February 2014 08:07, by Whortti Bor Manza

    Bravo Uhuru Kenyatta, your dad late Jomo Kenyatta was a great leader in Africa. Follow his path and his greatness.
    Do not be manipulated by this cabal called president Kiir. Obama once called him a liar during the Higlig conflict. There was no coup attempt whatsoever. These are pre fabricated lies and distortions orchestrated by Kiir to assert himself in power at any cost.

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  • 13 February 2014 08:54, by Peter Marko

    Why Rebeca Chol seems to be rubbing her arm against the president of Kenya. She should have skewed to her left, instead of leaning on the president, which makes the latter looks a bit shy in the picture. Hopefully, she has mistaken the president Kenyatta for Dr. Riak, otherwise we will live to see wonders from her, when it comes to dealing with powerful men. The B*** is really still in the game.

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  • 13 February 2014 09:21, by Marial Marial

    Thanks Uhuru for heeding to the advice of the wise peace loving citizens of the world. To the 7 leaders; pliz stay way from rebellious groups who want to justify their greed by using the word pro-democracy. They have been part of gov’t since independence. Using Ngundeng’s prophecy is illusional and tribal in nature. We South Sudanese reject this in totality. Dr Riak cannot use one tribe to install

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  • 13 February 2014 09:22, by Marial Marial

    himself into the presidency.I wonder how he will run the country with this tribal mentality. Dr Riak has narrowed his chances, if any. The South Sudanese need a president who is not aligned to a particular tribe, a president for all. Both Kiir and Dr Riak are no longer fit to rule this beloved country, for the same cause.
    The idea to create an interim gov’t may be popular at this time in point. Th

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  • 13 February 2014 09:23, by Marial Marial

    The idea to create an interim gov’t may be popular at this time in point. They being citizens of this nation will be free to contest. Rest assured; these two won’t convince many anymore. Enough is enough, God forbid no more force in this dotcom era will build a new nation like this one.

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  • 13 February 2014 09:34, by Marco Bul

    This peace process will need all SPLM Members.It is SPLM problem that has gone out of hand

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